Monday, May 15, 2017

The Digital Board’s Digital Inquiries (II)

Be skeptical, be inquisitive, be creative; and apply real critical thinking to practice the board's governance duty effectively.

Digital boards play a directorial role in strategy oversight, business advising & monitoring, advocating changes and inspiring innovation. Board as a whole needs to be able to create a holistic digital view via listening, brainstorming, and questioning, This implies that Boards of the future will need to work much more closely and collaboratively, to become the “mastermind” behind the digital transformation. Here are a set digital board’s digital inquiries.

Is the board sufficiently engaged with long-term opportunities and threats, such as digital transformation, sustainability, and the environment, or global shifts in the balance of economic power? Organizations are complex adaptive living systems, which are comprised, in part, of people (subsystems) who are also complex adaptive living systems. All such systems function, grow and prosper by continually learning, innovating, adapting and evolving. An organization or company may be in business for many years but has not matured its management practices. To measture its digital maturity, performing an organizational change impact assessment (“SWOT” or other business analysis) is very important to understand the 'current state' factors in digital transformation. Then determine what the impacts, risks, and challenges of any proposed changes are. Do the routine check up on the journey of digital transformation. Digital transformation is to create organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share.

Is the business able to shift the focus of existing people, investments and agendas, or does it need new capabilities, higher levels of investment? Digital transformation is not just about adopting the fancy technology tools or building a fancy design interface. It has to dig into the underlying processes & functions, and touch through the invisible cultures. Digital Masters understand it and take a more structured approach to expanding digital to all important dimensions with a set of well-defined digital principles and a series of digital practices. Today’s businesses must have changeability for adapting to the new digital dynamic and build recombinant business capabilities for managing the seamless strategy execution. Digital BoDs/executives will act more as conductors than constructors, with the ability to map the modular business capabilities to the business strategy, focus on integration and orchestration, look for productivity, engagement, efficiency, effectiveness, agility and maturity of the business. Thriving to become the digital master, is about improving the top-line business growth by maximizing ROIs to add up the overall business performance and unleash the full digital potential on the second dimension. It is also important to assess the stage in a life cycle the company is at or the type of tasks that need to be done. Do better on IT-enabled business capability mappings which allow for an understanding of the impact of strategic changes, and to have open discussions across business disciplinaries on the steps that need to be taken to reach strategic goals timely.

Do we have the expertise to identify the strategic and operational changes that need to be made? Digital BoDs need to understand the extent to which digital technologies enable the people to function to manage an integrated ecosystem of stakeholders and operate as an efficient and effective strategic business partner. They also need to work more closely with the top management and take a proactive approach to purposely creating a defined corporate culture and the collective mindset. They should help identify both “problems framers” and “problem-solvers,” to ensure the right leaders/talented people with the right capabilities putting in the right position to solve the right problems. A solution is nothing if the problem is not perceived. Therefore, creating the awareness of the problem is the first step to making a solution be understood and accepted. To manage a smooth digital transformation, it is critical to take a structural approach to clarify business visions, goals, and objectives; analyzing the current state of the business, determining the required business transformation; developing the business transformation roadmaps, and selecting the performance indicators to track the progress of business transformation accordingly.

Be skeptical, be inquisitive, be creative; and apply real critical thinking to practice the board's governance duty effectively. Accountability and oversight are all part of the game changes that boards must address. And the Board clearly has a role to play in all the major essential elements of leading a successful digital transformation.


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